spolia opima

[ spoh-lee-uhoh-pahy-muh, -pee-; Latin spaw-li-ah aw-pee-mah ]

plural noun
  1. (in ancient Rome) the arms taken by a victorious general from the leader of a defeated army.

Origin of spolia opima

From Latin spolia opīma “rich spoils”

Words Nearby spolia opima

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use spolia opima in a sentence

  • Cornelius Cossus, having killed Tolumnius, king of the Veientes, offers the second spolia opima.

  • By far the most remarkable object in the triumph was Cossus, bearing the spolia opima of the king he had slain.

  • He knew, as all these others knew and as all the world knows, that a beautiful woman is above all things spolia opima of war.

    The Covered Wagon | Emerson Hough
  • To him the richest spoils of war (spolia opima) were due, and to him the conqueror gave thanks on his return from battle.

    The Religion of Numa | Jesse Benedict Carter
  • The spoils were called spolia opima, according to Varro, because opim means excellence.